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Open mike 28/07/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 28th, 2019 - 90 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

90 comments on “Open mike 28/07/2019 ”

  1. mac1 1

    An opinion piece from one Ben Thomas on Ihumãtao.

    The final sentence, instancing baby boomers in a cheap throwaway shot. Why does he instance baby boomers? Why not leave it at just instancing residents' views. I find this a nasty piece of disrespectful ageism.

    Well, one thing is that he is a former 'spin doctor for a National Treaty Negotiations minister, Chris Finlayson.'

    "Much needed housing projects in leafy central Auckland suburbs are routinely scrapped by the authorities for much less – for blocking a baby boomer resident's views, or to save sagging old mid-century shopfronts."

  2. marty mars 2

    Backgrounder

    https://e-tangata.co.nz/comment-and-analysis/sacrifices-but-no-reward/

    So, by the end of dinner, they decided to take on the government, the developers and the Auckland Council.

    They settled on SOUL as the name for their protest group. It stands for Save Our Unique Landscape and their aim was to stop nearly 500 homes being built near their village, their ancient burial caves, the historic Ōtuataua Stonefields and their ancestral maunga, Te Puketāpapatanga-a-Hape and Ōtuataua.

    For me – I am enjoying watching the ebb and flow of mana – this is how it works, live, in real time – ebb and flow. No one has to be worried because it is still moving, until it settles into the new spot it is fluid. Fixed positions, movement, change, solidity, unbreaking, ever flexible – we are getting a masterclass.

    • JO 2.1

      This

      I am enjoying watching the ebb and flow of mana – this is how it works, live, in real time – ebb and flow. No one has to be worried because it is still moving, until it settles into the new spot it is fluid. Fixed positions, movement, change, solidity, unbreaking, ever flexible – we are getting a masterclass.

      is beautiful.

      Thank you.

    • Gabby 2.2

      Why shun the soil enriched by your ancestors mardymardy?

      • marty mars 2.2.1

        I don't think one more mm should be sold and in fact a lot should be GIVEN back gabbyduck. I'd give back a few other things too – mark my words on that one alright gabbs, I'd give back a FEW other things too I would, yes siree, indeed, say no more.

  3. The Chairman 3

    People have been describing this as the revolution of our generation, and the biggest Māori movement of this time, so it's really disappointing that she's not here," she said.

    The call is now out for the protest crowd to get bigger as they wait for the Prime Minister to join the party.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/07/ihum-tao-protester-numbers-surge-into-thousands-as-ministers-enter-fray.html

  4. The Chairman 4

    There was something almost smug in the Prime Minister’s voice when she was asked if the government would intervene at Ihumatao. Oh no, she said – that’s an iwi dispute – nothing to do with the government – whew!

    She was backed up by a phalanx of Maori Labour MPs – spineless to a person – who said it wasn’t the government’s role to get involved in internal iwi politics.

    Never mind that the government set up special housing areas and approved the land for housing. Never mind that the government’s state forces – the police – are being used to drive people off the land on behalf of a private company. Never mind that the whole of New Zealand history has been built on the same scenario we see at Ihumatao.

    And never mind that the colonial wars of the past have been based on the same crown logic the Prime Minister is using today.

    John Minto

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/07/27/divide-and-rule-is-the-first-choice-weapon-of-government-the-second-is-the-police-and-the-third-is-the-army/

  5. Blazer 5

    Eric the ripper' involved in 'pump and dump'…surely not!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/114555844/eric-watson-named-in-fbi-search-warrant-documents-in-relation-to-insider-trading-case

    Cannasouth IPO comes to mind.

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    If you've ever felt that you're not being given the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth by our elected representatives, both at central and local government level, you can take some comfort that your suspicions are well founded.

    The Bullshit Brigade have taken over.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018705810/running-the-numbers-on-public-service-pr

    It’s not news that people doing PR and communications for the state heavily outnumber the journalists who report on the agencies employing them. But the numbers crunched by RNZ’s Phil Pennington show the gap has become a chasm – and the figures weren't easy to get.

    So much for open and transparent government.

    SSDD

    • Gabby 6.1

      It's odd that more PR people = less info. At least the bullshit's on glossy paper.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Comms staff in risk-averse organisations are mostly focused on restricting information, not spreading it.

    • Ed1 6.2

      Most government departments are having to increase the resources needed for Freedom of Information requests – most of those will probably be called communications staff . . .

      I believe that some of the egregious requests should be countered by public release of both the questions and answers, and also for each request provide a "quick estimate" of person-hours spent on preparing the information. First by making more information public, questioners will only get a slight "scoop" advantage, if the requester is named (as it should be at least for all MPs and for corporations) it may give a guide to those who are seeking to bury initiative by tying up resources, but most importantly it may lead departments to review regular reporting so that systems automatically provide better public information

      There is a cost to open and transparent government . . at least the emphasis now is on compliance rather than withholding information

  7. Sacha 7

    Good explainer on Nats proposing another $50m/year (about 5%) for Pharmac to make drug companies happy: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/07/national-promises-200-million-cancer-fund.html

    • Ed1 7.1

      It arises from two different National party imperatives. First they want smaller government, but they also need to be seen to increase spending. How to do that? Criticise any small part of any sector, and promise more money. No need for the criticism to be justified cancer is good because people die from it, so we are not doing enough. (Forget about all the other reasons for death, including the expensive "just getting older") Also forget about where the money comes from – if asked, point to anything the government is doing – the Regional Development Fund will do – as an example of less important spending.

      The reality is that Pharmac has a mandate to look at all causes of need for treatments, and to balance those needs fairly, taking into account proven effects. The occasional political meddling is often related to a big company having a new (and nearly tested) wonder drug – sadly performance doe not always match rhetoric, but the purpose here is not to spend more money, but to be seen to be doing (or in this case promising for the future) something.

      The reality for cancer treatment is that we already have a fairly concentrated system that puts specialists together in places where patients can be directed to give critical mass. We will never have a cancer specialist team on the West Coast – specialists want to see more than 2 or 3 patients a year . . . We know from the past that political decisions have not always matched clinical preferences – some of the past decisions to promise funding before an election have not survived dispassionate assessment of clinical results for a new drug.

      So, 1. Where is the money coming from? Does this defer tax cuts?

      2. My uncle has Heart disease / Parkinsons / Multiple Schlerosis / Dementia – what are you going to do for him and others like him? Or will treatment for them be cut to pay for the promise?

      3. We are told to trust the market and to trust the medical profession – why do you think a political decision to "pick a winner" will result in better health outcomes overall. Is this just an election bribe? Does the National Party no longer believe in the benefits of a free market?

      • Sacha 7.1.1

        Does the National Party no longer believe in the benefits of a free market?

        Yes, it is always ideologically interesting watching the Nats strengthen the hand of the state while claiming otherwise.

        • Ed1 7.1.1.1

          This is not about strengthening the hand of the state – $50 million a year for 4 years (presumably from 2021 when this little blurt from Simon may well have been forgotten . . .) will not make up for the cuts to the total health budget over the previous 9 years. This is a "look over there" action intended to distract. Even the basic premise that people all over New Zealand deserve to have specialist care in their neighbourhood is a nonsense – major centres are the only places with ready transport from elsewhere and enough patients to run complex speciality departments – it was I think under National that pediatric cancer services were concentrated in a small number of places. What National does believe in is crony capitalism, using money to temporarily buy support while encouraging the "self-reliance" of private health insurance . . .

        • Incognito 7.1.1.2

          The ideology dictates that government not only should not get in the way of the ‘free market’ but also that it should set policy that actively encourages and protects the ‘free market’. The government is to serve and protect markets in which individuals make rational decisions and choices that are in their best interest. What the ideology assumes is the sum of these individual actions delivers the best possible outcome for the greater good. In fact, it is claimed that this is the only ideology that can achieve this outcome. What is often downplayed or outright ignored is that people don’t make strictly rational decisions and choices and that they are heavily influenced by marketing, advertising, PR, and spin, et cetera. The ideology further ignores that choice is an allusion and in fact an illusion because it encourages mergers & acquisitions into large dominant market players and monopolies. The same market ‘principles’ feed back into the market itself in which companies and corporates make decisions that are in their (shareholders’) best interest. The madness of this ideology is that many not just believe but are convinced that the cumulative effect of an infinite number of selfish actions is a selfless benefit to all.

          • Sacha 7.1.1.2.1

            Selfishness itself is the main beneficiary of NZ's last few decades – now the embedded default for public discourse.

            • North 7.1.1.2.1.1

              This:

              Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.

              Herman Melville
              US novelist & sailor (1819 – 1891)

      • AB 7.1.2

        Another small but predictably disgusting piece of selective shroud-waving from the Nats.

    • Incognito 7.2

      It is clear that National has not learned and moved on from their mistake to ride roughshod over PHARMAC’s decision-making process and fund Herceptin as an Election promise in 2008.

      https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/about/our-history/hard-choices/

      This is yet another cynical promise of frivolous spending of Taxpayers’ money sold as ‘life-saving’.

      A guaranteed extra windfall of $50 million each year (!) for pharma industry thanks to the generosity of Simon Bridges and his buddies in National. How many bridges did Bridges promise again?

      I’d suggest that PHARMAC adopts a no-cure-no-pay policy for expensive drugs. Given that only a fraction of patients respond to these expensive treatments and given that all treated patients are exposed to potentially severe side effects of the drugs, it makes no sense to charge the full price (not cost) to each and every patient. Unfortunately, they cannot tell who will benefit and who won’t.

      Thus, set a very conservative base re-fund and then for each month or year of clinical benefit to the patient pay a little more to the point at which a patient is disease-free and/or considered cured. As soon as a patient relapses, the payments stop indefinitely. That would be true value-for-money. At the moment, it is largely a gamble with people’s lives and finances with the only real winners being the pharma industry.

      • McFlock 7.2.1

        No cure no pay?

        Interesting idea.

        • Incognito 7.2.1.1

          Well, more like no-cure-much-less-pay. There’s a good post on this topic but time …

          • Sacha 7.2.1.1.1

            Would be a useful policy if we implement fast-tracking for unproven drugs. Insurance for reducing the up-front barriers. Maybe in a 'partnership agreement' with the pharma companies?

            • Incognito 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps better to call them not-yet-proven drugs?

              The gold standard in clinical registration trials for anti-cancer drugs is overall survival but this can take years to measure. Unfortunately, surrogate or secondary endpoints such as progression-free survival don’t always predict for overall survival.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progression-free_survival

              Pharma provide (new) drugs free to patients who participate in clinical trials but it is important to note that not all trials are equal.

              The other point to consider is that trial results often are more positive than when used in the general patient population. There are a number of reasons for that.

              Because of the side effects and the general lack of predictive diagnostics, I think there has to be a sound evidence-base before PHARMAC fully funds new treatments. Partly, because it could go at the expense of other expenditure on proven treatments, be it for cancer or non-cancer.

              New drugs offer great promise in some cases but also come with great(er) uncertainty. IMO, this should definitely be reflected in a lower cost price to PHARMAC.

              In some ways, it is the pharma’s best interest to treat as many patients as possible regardless of whether they’ll benefit or not. Patient selection based on predictive diagnostics increases the chances of clinical benefit to the patient but reduces the potential market size for the pharma.

              The main issue is that the best drug should be tailored to a specific patient (best match) with the greatest chance of a beneficial outcome for the patient, which is where personalised medicine is heading, and this could be coupled to the pharma’s profit. Currently, the two are often uncoupled from each other and pricing is set by the pharma and how much ‘the market’ can tolerate and is willing to accept. It has an element of preying on the desperate and giving them hope

              Results need to be made public and there needs much more transparency and accountability from and by the pharma industry especially since we, the Taxpayers, pay for it.

              As I said, it is a great topic for a post.

              • Sacha

                Good luck getting the industry to be more open, though the European regulators may solve that one for us eventually.

                • Incognito

                  Sometimes, you get the feeling that the ‘ethics’ of Big Pharma and Tobacco Industry are virtually indistinguishable. Of course, their number one priority is to satisfy their shareholders.

                  Regulators should make it mandatory to publish all results of all trials through peer-review. Patients shouldn’t be used as Guinea pigs to boost profits.

                  After market approval, all adverse events need to be collated in a central register that is open and searchable. This needs an international global approach.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Sometimes, you get the feeling that the ‘ethics’ of Big Pharma and Tobacco Industry are virtually indistinguishable.

                    Careful there Incognito, that's a line straight from the book I'm reading at the moment about adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine.

  8. Anne 8

    Given what else is going on in this world of ours is anyone surprised?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12253391

    “It counts among its members German police officers, military personnel — and even the elite anti-terror squad Spezialeinsatzkommand.”

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    Outgoing head of ASMS tells Clark to " "Toughen up David; the fires are burning and you are running out of time."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/114548766/outgoing-health-union-boss-slams-health-minister-david-clark

    I am not the only commenter here who has expressed bitter disappointment at the nation being stuck with yet another Minister of Health who is clearly unequal to the task of enabling the necessary reboot of our Public Health and Disability system.

    That is, of course, if the Current Mob were speaking true when they declared their intention to be transformational and address the failings and inequities that have been allowed to flourish under the past four administrations.

    A cynical person might suspect that the underlying intent is to push this nation inexorable down the path to a system where those who can go private and those who can't….suffer and die.

    But hey, the EOLC Bill will ease their departure.

    See, they have got a plan after all.

    • Ed1 9.1

      Choices are certainly a bitch, aren't they. Salaried medical specialists are probably in just the category that would have benefited from National's further cuts to income tax that the new government reversed. Instead the increased the minimum wage, increased benefits, stopped spending so much money on making WINZ staff proxy police and got them to actually help people in need (and surprise surprise suddenly without changing the law suddenly staff found that many people were actually eligible for a benefit). They put money into repairing and building social housing, and money into reviewing education for skills training so we don;t have to import more; they settled long overdue wage agreements with nurses and teachers. In half a term quite a bit has been achieved. Meanwhile we are looking forward to the possibility of another world recession; our debt position as a country is much higher than desirable, and a pre-election promise has led to our continuing with low income tax rates for companies and individuals, with some blatant loopholes that further reduce spending options.

      I agree that there was a lurch towards private provision of health services under the Key/English governments – and yes there is a gap in earnings between private and public specialists. I well remember a news item shortly before the 2017 election where Bill English proudly attended a major extension of Bowen Hospital in Wellington; accompanied I think around the same time by the purchase by a private provider of an MRI machine – but don't worry, the public sector can contract to use it when it is not being used for private patients . . . So I too would like the public sector to "close the gap" in a lot of ways, but if priority were to be given to salaried medical specialists, what other part of spending would you be happy to reduce, Rosemary?

    • greywarshark 9.2

      Edit:
      You are an attack machine Rosemary McD. Only your problems and those of other disabled people should be looked at, nobody else matters. And talking down the ELOC (End of Life Choice) Bill is a narrow position. Less money spent on interfering with natural death; limiting the drawn-out 'life' of terminally ill means more available for those actually living, not just existing. I am as despairing as you are of intelligent and fair behaviour as needed and wanted by people who need help with their plans for their future.

    • Pat 9.3

      Health must be a nightmare portfolio….the reality is there will never be enough resources and choices will be made. …whether the best (or right?) will be a never ending debate….it will depend on where you view it from.

      • Rosemary McDonald 9.3.1

        "Health", ie the "Ministry of", has become an autonomous corporate monster. Regardless of which colour flies atop the Beehive, the Ministry will continue along the path laid out over two decades ago. Underfund the system and provide dysfunctional leadership. Blame and accuse those charged with providing frontline services for not being able to function as required when they're running to stand still. Contract out core services to profiteers. Allow the creation of an separate profession called 'health management and administration', whose sole role appears to be to draw $$$ away from actual treatment and care and into the salaries of those who without knowing the first thing about running a busy ward march in and start telling the medical staff how to run a busy ward….Brian Easton describes these parasites here…https://pundit.co.nz/content/who-was-accountable-for-the-shambles

        A brave Prime Minister would address the Nation and say.."Look folks, our Public Health and Disability system is in deepest shit.. Decades of mismanagement has resulted in such a deficit that we have only two choices….a) give up and limp along on existing funding and under the cloud of strained relationships and encourage those who can afford it to take out private health insurance (as was the plan in the first place), or b) we do a massive reboot, a sizeable and meaningful cash injection that will truly be an investment for future generations…but this option requires us to impose and extra 2% of tax on every earner, ringfenced as an addition to the current Vote Health appropriations. This tax shall stay in place until we're out of the pooh."

        I'd go for b.

        • Pat 9.3.1.1

          Id go for 'b' as well….but would note the result would still be well short of providing everything demanded.

          Health care will always be triaged….some honest discussions about what are must haves and what would be good if able are needed, but I doubt any politician of any hue is willing to risk that

    • The Chairman 9.4

      Big shoes to fill now that Ian is stepping down.

      Thanks for the link, Rosemary.

      David Clark seems to believe long-standing workforce issues can't somehow be solved by bringing in more trained medical specialists (from offshore) or is it a case of the Government not wanting to spend the money required to do that?

  10. marty mars 10

    Great article worth another read in these times – we all have this tendency – some more than others – listen please, just listen.

    But the truth is, she didn’t misunderstand me at all. She understood what was happening perhaps better than I did. When she began to share her raw emotions, I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say, so I defaulted to a subject with which I was comfortable: myself.

    huffpost link

    • greywarshark 10.1

      That is good MM. Shutting up and finding ways to affirm their thoughts or occasionally indicate a different way, 'Have you thought of trying…' is the best. Sometimes thoughts get so scrambled that talking through them with a trusted person gives a clarity.

  11. cleangreen 11

    What a bloody laugh as I woke up today (sunday) 28th july to see lame brain Simon Bridges saying;;

    “I believe in climate change is a real threat to our nation” to Tova O;Brien, and then he tries to nail the point home by saying quote “we have two electric cars”

    If that incredible statment wasn;t enough, then he says about the National Party policy was to build new roads????

    What the fuck@@@@@

    Is he brainless? it would seem as he is as more roads are not the way forward to lower the climate emissions!!

    Using more rail is, as rail uses six times less fuel to move the same amount as trucks do, and rail uses no tyres and only “steel on steel wheels, for low friction and only has steel particulates emissions.

    Vehicle tyres emit large amounts of tyre dust pollution made from oil distilates similar to plastic,

    That causes cancer and nervous system damage, with 1,3,Butadience styrene,

    https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MMG/MMG.asp?id=455&tid=81

    So grow some brain Simon as you are once again showing your ignorance.

  12. mauī 12

    Wonderful comments from academic Margaret Mutu on Ihumātao, "divide and rule" approach.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12252876

    "It is the number one issue that comes up from interviewing Treaty claimants. In negotiations, a group or individual is given a mandate, and then put under incredible pressure to get the settlement over the line.

    "But in the end there is no negotiation, from a Māori view, it is all defined in terms set by the Crown, or in this case a developer, and mostly involving financial settlements.

    "It leads to disputes within and/or between iwi or hapū, and leads to outcomes in favour of the Crown."

    • JanM 12.1

      Do you think that this presents a good opportunity to revisit the whole settlement issue? Peeni Henare made it clear this morning that returning land in private ownership will render all previous settlements invalid. That could well be a legitimate outcome, do you have a perspective on that?

      • mauī 12.1.1

        I tend to go along with the thinking that this is a special case. The iwi were shut out of decision making and simply don't want the land developed.

        That is quite different to the pakeha fear that this would now mean all private land is up for grabs to be given back.

        • JanM 12.1.1.1

          Ok – I think it's not so much 'pakeha fear' as a legal nightmare unless the 'special case' aspect is extremely well established as exactly that.

    • Dennis Frank 12.2

      The strategy only works when the target group allows it to do so. Unity defeats division. Mutu ought to get real instead. If she really believes the four-year stand-off between niece & uncle was caused by the crown, she ought to produce evidence of that. She hasn't even tried to do so, has she?

  13. joe90 13

    What kind of people are attracted to an overt racist? … oh, right…people suffering from economic anxiety.

    /

    https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/1155221137930051585

  14. greywarshark 14

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/395386/health-expert-renews-call-for-study-on-nitrates-in-drinking-water

    and

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/395379/bridges-promises-cancer-agency-200m-for-drugs

    If National didn't limit itself to promising action to the citizens about decent drinking water and severe limitations on pollution in waterways then he wouldn't need to bribe voters with cancer drug offers (most of which don't cure). The appearance of concern after the fact is a sorry sight and leads to disdain, recognising the degeneracy of National from voters of principle.

  15. Mark 15

    Interesting:

    Workers in eastern Europe and former Soviet states prefer socialism:

    Former Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s approval rating has hit a record high of 70 percent amongst Russians, according to a study published by the Levada polling centre. (Stalin’s approval rating among Russians hits record high, The Moscow Times, 16 April 2019) ……

    https://www.cpgb-ml.org/2019/07/26/news/workers-eastern-europe-former-ussr-prefer-socialism/

    • The Al1en 15.1

      Don't need Putin's bots to win elections in Russia when you have Putin's bats to do the job for you.

      Thousand arrests at Moscow rally

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49125045

    • Dennis Frank 15.2

      Imagine you telling Stalin his system was socialism. You'd disappear real fast. wink

      • Mark 15.2.1

        Fuck you are an ignorant fool….

        Socialism in one country (Russian: социализм в отдельно взятой стране, tr. sotsializm v otdelno vzyatoy strane, literally socialism in a single country) was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin and Nikolai Bukharin in 1924 which was eventually adopted by the Soviet Union as state policy.

        • Dennis Frank 15.2.1.1

          So the pretence fools you that easily? He had to kill 30 million of his own people to try and get the rest to believe in the sham, and it still didn't work. Reality trumps delusion. Every time. devil

          • Mark 15.2.1.1.1

            Oh fuck off. Don't deflect.

            You made a stupid fucken statement. Stalin, and indeed virtually all so-called 'communist' countries describe themselves as 'socialist'.

            'Socialism' is the phase before true 'communism' is achieved.

            You obviously don't fucken know that and that shows what a dumb shit you are unqualified to comment on anything to so with the communist movement and Marxism Leninism.

            30 million killed? ……sound like a naive stupid school girl.

            Now answer me this. If Stalin really was such a monster, why is he so widely admired even now, in the very country he was supposed to have committed the vast majority of his crimes.

            • lprent 15.2.1.1.1.1

              If Stalin really was such a monster, why is he so widely admired even now, in the very country he was supposed to have committed the vast majority of his crimes.

              You really appear to not know much history. Perhaps you should look at the effects of mass level propaganda when the media is held and controlled by the state. It was a thing in the mid-20th century after the technology became available for it to be achieved.

              If you studied the period with a little more depth, the you’d look less like a complete idiot. You might even be capable of making an argument without all of the dick pulling you just did.

              I’d suggest you don’t use that kind of abuse approach to replying again. Next time I see you do it, I’ll demonstrate exactly how useless you are at it. You do appear to be a pretty incompetent dimwit – wannabe student?

              • Mark

                If Stalin really was such a mass murdering monster then it would be in the lived memories of those few still alive who lived during his time, or at least it would have been passed down to the sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of those who did.

                To think that we living in the West are not subject to those same mass delusions created by the corporate media that you accuse those living in non Western countries of being subject to by their own respective media is to be completely absurd.

                To think that the opinion of a Russian of his own history is less valid than a Westerner who only reads Anne Appelbaum and Robert Conquest is simply quite arrogant.

                If you looked at the article I linked to in my first post, it is Western researchers themselves who have found that many many people, a majority in some former Eastern bloc countries, people who actually lived under the socialist system, find it was better in those days than what they have now.

                And if life in the former Soviet Union was really such a horror show, why did Putin restore the Soviet Anthem with only the words re-written, surely nothing is more redolent of past times, good or bad, than great music.

                And anecdotally, I have heard the same from Eastern Europeans who now live in New Zealand.

                • SHG

                  Thread +++

                • lprent

                  If Stalin really was such a mass murdering monster then it would be in the lived memories of those few still alive who lived during his time, or at least it would have been passed down to the sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of those who did.

                  It was. This isn’t exactly hard to find if you look around for material from the Khrushchev thaw period between 1953 and about 1957/8 arguably later – but really the thing pretty much died after the Hungarian repression.

                  If you haven’t seen it, then I’d say that you probably have just been avoiding it.

                  To think that we living in the West are not subject to those same mass delusions created by the corporate media that you accuse those living in non Western countries of being subject to by their own respective media is to be completely absurd.

                  What makes you think that we aren’t? Tell you do you ever listen to anyone else apart from your own self-referential bullshit. After all I was born in 1959. My adolescence was backgrounded with the stupidity of the Vietnam war, the threat of nuclear annihilation, and all of those old soldiers who’d never talk about the first or second world wars and what they saw entering the charnel houses of Europe and Japan.

                  If you looked at the article I linked to in my first post, it is Western researchers themselves who have found that many many people, a majority in some former Eastern bloc countries, people who actually lived under the socialist system, find it was better in those days than what they have now.

                  So? My grandparents were young adults and my parents were children grew up in post-1930s depression and in WW2 and the reconstruction in the 1940s and 50s. They’d happily tell you that that world was a better place then it was when I was doing army and university in the late 1970s. In fact the only ancient person that I have ever come across who seemed to think that when they grew up was shite was my great grandmother. But she was in service in her teens and really on the arse-end of society.

                  Generally relying on the rose tinted recollections of the past or the even dark tinted recollections of the mentally ill or abused is simply not useful. You have a hell of a problem trying to get a un-self-selected sample because people will either want to talk about it or not depending how it is framed at them. The most significiant way of running those kinds of samples is to look at the silences – that is always where the interesting stuff is kept. The treatment of teen pregnancies in NZ being a good local example. Or the way that people don’t talk about the GULAG in the USSR. Or the silence related to the work-to-death slavery that the Japanese did in Mongolia and China in the 1930s and 40s.

                  To think that the opinion of a Russian of his own history is less valid than a Westerner who only reads Anne Appelbaum and Robert Conquest is simply quite arrogant.

                  Personally I don’t have an opinion on history. I just study it. That is something that is quite different from the kind of myth repetition that you’re referring to (and are doing yourself). History is something that I have been doing as a hobby (with a bit of uni time as well) for about 48 years after I switched from fiction to non-fiction as my main reading material.

                  Personally I’m not interested in dumb-arse propaganda, and it certainly doesn’t do you any favours when you try to shout it down peoples throats. Especially people who are clearly bigger skeptics than you are.

                  The gulag systems are about as well documented as the Japanese internment camps of the US after 1941, or the way that we used Somes Island and a few other places here or just about every other reasonably well run camp system. By their very nature, prison camp systems are at documented and accounted for because they’re pretty costly to run. Most of the time their records survive for historians. The exceptions are usually where there is an attempted coverup, like the Nazi concentration camps or the Cambodian death camps before they got over-run by advancing forces.

                  The gulag system wasn’t over run. It was just run-down post-Stalin. The documentation of the system (albeit somewhat cleaned up) was done in the speech by Khrushchev in 1956. The material that was prepared on was a series of studies of the gulag system by the USSR communist party hierarchy and its use in the late 1930s during the largest part of the largest purges. As a ‘skeptic’, you can probably assume that in itself was a sanitised version.

                  Perhaps you should find it and actually study a translation of the speech and the investigation of the 17th party congress and its aftermath. Sanitised or not, it was pretty searing indictment of a system that you seem to be trying to say never existed. Which I find to be a rather willfully self-delusional bit of stupidity.

                  • Mark

                    Mr Prentice.

                    I think you miss the point, to put it politely.

                    Yes, people often do look to the past with rose tinted glasses, but not if they were supposed to have gone through the horrors of 'stalinism' as portrayed in the West.

                    I was responding to rather less informed commentators than yourself, people such as Dennis Frank who comes up with the fantastical 30 million nonsense, or people like Appelbaum or Timothy Snyder.

                    Yes, one could have gone through perhaps the 1930s depression and still have somewhat fond memories of community bonding, say, or character building.

                    That's different from going through the Holocaust – not many old European Jews from WWII era qill say, 'well we sure had things better in those days!' You don't get parades in Israel with Nazi banners, nor, I am sure would the Horst Wessel move people to tears.

                    Similarly if Stalin really did commit the sort of crimes claimed for him by the Western corporate media, he would be hated by the people he ruled, mainly Russians. Not repeatedly voted as the greatest 'Russian'

                    NoteStalin's popularity wildly eclipses Khruschev who is seen as a fool and a liar and particularly Gorbacheve are seen as a traitor.

                    Stalin, while not perfect, surely was one of the greatest men of the 20 thcentury.

                    And also, you may find this interesting:

            • reason 15.2.1.1.1.2

              For more informed comment on Russia and Putin than anyone at this site …. I recommend this video ….

              It explains quite well the a) Power …. and b) Popularity of Putin in Russia .

              • reason

                And if you want to hear / learn about our propaganda towards Russia ….. This doco mentions 1947 as the year when Russia became a 'official enemy', to be attacked by every means apart from troops.

                I've always wondered how many of 'stalins famine' was down to 'scorched earth' warfare' //// and the huge amount of working aged men killed in Russia…..

                ….Our propaganda seems to say none,,,,, and stalin killed them all…

                But Even Stalin was not as bad as neo=lib western 'shock thearapy'… which is probably why the Russians hold the views they do.

                Under Yeltsin, Russia’s economy collapsed some 60%, the male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56, millions were reduced to living on subsistence farming for the first time since Stalin as wages went unpaid for years at a time. Russia was on its way to going extinct—but about 3-5% of the population (plus or minus 3%) was making out like bandits. https://pando.com/2015/05/17/neocons-2-0-the-problem-with-peter-pomerantsev/

    • Gosman 15.3

      It isn't a record high. When he was in power it was 100% approval.

      • reason 15.3.1

        In the end, Yeltsin won by old school fraud — in Chechnya, for example, where Yeltsin’s war had killed 40,000 people and displaced half the population, elections showed 1,000,000 Chechens voted (even though less than half a million adults remained in Chechnya at the time of voting), and that 70% of them voted for Yeltsin, their exterminator. That helped deliver the numbers that the West needed to see—enough for the New York Times to declare it "A Victory for Russian Democracy"—parroting the laughably cheerful assessment of President Clinton and his team.

        It seems Yelstin got a 200% voter turn out in Chechnya … … now that is impressive :0

  16. Morrissey 16

    Leading thinkers discuss the protest at Ihumātao
    Magic Talk, Thursday 25 July 2019, 10:15 a.m.

    AMANDA: It's the gravy train. They're being rewarded for their behaviours.

    PETER WILLIAMS: Thanks for that, Amanda! Good morning, Chris.

    CHRIS: Yeah g'day. Just looking at the calibre of these protestors: what would their EMPLOYERS have been thinking?

    PETER WILLIAMS: [chortling conspiratorially] What are you trying to say, Chris? What are you trying to say?

    CHRIS: Have they even GOT jobs? That lady from Britain you had on earlier, she needs to get her head out of the clouds. I was talking to my friend the policeman, and he says that NINETY PER CENT of the crime is Maori, and it's getting worse, and it's getting WORSE, and it's getting WORSE. …..

    ad nauseam, omnia mane….

    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2019/07/magic-talk-is-outlet-for-racist-bilge.html

  17. Poission 17

    Build a wall.

    Send in the marines.

    Oh no.

  18. joe90 19

    The suffering in Yemen continues.

  19. Eco maori 20

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Today is the day humans have used all that Papatuanuku can produce in a year was used up in 7 months we will all have to become minimalist to survive.

    Lance that is awesome the 200 Mobil doctor clinic that services is NEEDED in Te taiwhiti.

    Sam Eco Maori thinks that your championing all the tamariki in foster care been given a KIWIs Saver account that would set them up for life ka pai.

    Lance that was a awesome eureka moment the mobile healthcare clinic thanks. Its been a while since Eco Maori had a Eureka moment ma te wa. It would be nice if the big companies sponsored this Fontana Gull Mobile Pack and save Countdown The Warehouse Eco Maori lays a challenge for you to sponsor this great out of the square Idea

    Its hard to get a doctor's appointment in rual Aotearoa the wait can be 1 to 2 weeks to see a doctor Eco Maori knowns that it pays to trear a ailment immediately if not the case just gets worse next minute hangi .q

    That was well said the African American who gave trump a great serve very cool.

    Winston I agree that colmar brunton poll is just use to manipulate and lie to the VOTERS.

    Good to see you on the Show Winston.

    Duncan you need to Google your self.

    I agree Winston the Coalition Government is cleaning up a big national MESS.

    There you go people playing games with imagration figure to try and make the government look bad.

    The Black Caps did Aotearoa proud its not there fault that the system is bent by putea chin up guys.

    Bryce statistics lie when they are massaged by right wing money to try and boost their m8 rating ie national.

    Ka kite ano

  20. Eco maori 21

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

  21. Eco maori 22

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Elijah your words hit a brick wall kia kaha Tangata whenua O Aotearoa get more respect than other minoritie culture get from the ruling class but we still have a lot of crap heaped on us one just has to look at the fiasco that is going on around Eco Maori to see that's a FACT.

    I think it's is about time that the car manufacturers should have a solution for babies being left in car very great idea.

    That man who lost his twins accidentally leaving them in a hot car. He was working in a most probably a under staffed and over worked people I say it was fatigue over worked that caused him to forget his babys he will be shattered.

    I have already given my tau toko of Lance great Idea come on if it saves you money David and saves lives why not back it .

    Ka kite ano.

  22. Eco maori 23

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    There you go Our Coalition Governments has invested more than a billion dollar into the welbing of the needy don't rock te waka to much we might get swamped.

    Look like most of my Ngati Porou Whanau have a higher IQ than most as that is only a small amount of people at that protest about CYPS in Turanga A kiwa .

    Condolences to Sean Whanau for their great lose Eco Maori seen quite a bit of Sean in Maori leaders circles.

    I its good

    Te Ao Maori News its lucky Eco Maori has a few skills up his sleeve as the sandflys tried to block my post to Maori TV.

    Some muppets called shonky royalty YEA RIGHT did you hear him put his foot in his mouth he said Jacinda is a morals based person thats great for Jacinda but Eco Maori says because shonky made that statement live on TV he has admitted to having NO MORALS.

    I,, Winston national are talking alot of hog wash about the putea being invested in cancer drugs and treatment they are desperate have you ever seen a political party pull all the fossil out of the cupboard to try and lift there poll ratings keep those back benches WARM.

    Ka kite Ano

  23. Eco maori 24

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    simon you're just rambling words. The Coalition government has made more good choices and changes in 2 years than national did in 8

    Sandy the Baltimore issue trump is just a bully he thinks he can control everyone

    Seenothing your statement shows you don't have enough respect for Tangata Whenua O Aotearoa.

    If there was no Organized Crime in NZ what about all the Pee addicts I see around NZ I see a spike in these people in Port cities Why because thats where the shit is getting into NZ.

    Ka kite ano

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